(Perilla frutescens var. crispa)
* Shiso is a variety of Perilla frutescens, commonly called perilla in the mint family. Its botanical name is Perilla frutescens var. crispa and is different from the Korean Perilla leaves. They look similar but taste different. Shiso leaf is shaped like a spade with a serrated edge, whereas Korean perilla also known as sesame leaves is more flatter and have a less serrated edge.
* Very common in Asian cooking, and in particular, Japanese cuisine. It's also called “Ao(blue/green)jiso” or “ōba” in Japanese.
* Pick the ones not shriveled and with no black spots. When it lose its freshness, the black spots appear on the leaves. Green perilla leaves are spoilt easily, and become black coloured if it’s left in water. Use them as soon as possible or leave the stem part only to soak in water and keep them uplight.
* Green Shiso – Because of its’ anti-bacterial property, you may have seen it is often used to garnish Sashimi and also as an divider in Bento Box Lunch. It is also used for Chilled Tofu, Mentai Moyo Yaki Onigiri, Yaki Onigiri, Tempura, Miso KatsuDon, Futomaki Sushi filling and can not have Temaki Zushi without Shiso Leaf.
* How to grow:
- First soak the seeds in water for 3-4 hours and best to change water every hour. Sow on the surface on damp soil and keep maintain the moist but not wet. Germination takes about 14-21 days. When it grows about 15cm tall, prune the top which encourages the plant to become bushy.
- Prefer full sun to partial shade, in fertile, well-drained soil.